Mahira Jain, a 12th-grade student of Delhi Public School, RK Puram, Delhi, is the brain behind the innovative startup, FunWagon. Besides being passionate about History, Sociology, Arts, Piano, and Indian Classical singing, she is on a mission to spread consciousness about the importance of extracurricular activities. For this reason, she launched her startup, FunWagon.
Despite all this, she is an active student and has enrolled herself in Sociology society, Art club, and the History Society of her school. An avid artist, Mahira, is also a spirited wildlife photographer.
Undoubtedly, she is an inspiration for all the students out there.
FunWagon – Fun Begins Here!
FunWagon is a social enterprise that caters to children between the ages of 6 to 16. They organize exciting, interactive cultural activities and aims at promoting experimental learning through excursions and experiences. It is a place for students to live, experience, and learn outside the confines of the classroom.
Here, students are encouraged to learn from their surroundings and each other.
Additionally, they also reveal the importance of non-STEM subjects, by giving students a platform to articulate and engage with various forms of the Art, Culture, History, and much more, both in-person and virtually.
Till now, the company has conducted four excursions, including tours to the National Museum, India Gate, Gandhi Smriti, and Lodhi Art District, eight educational workshops with their NGO partners, three virtual tours, and 5 Virtual walkthroughs on YouTube.
Check out the website for FunWagon here.
Check out the company page for FunWagon on Hiredd.com
The Vision, Idea, and Inspiration behind FunWagon
Initially, FunWagon was Mahira’s 10th-grade project. But soon, she understood that it could be much more than this.
In the first place, she analyzed her problems and found out that she has a lot to handle, including limited options for academic and enriching recreational activities. Subsequently, she realized that our society lacks many things when it comes to experimental learning. She thus decided to create a safe and well-researched space for students and organize age-appropriate events for students to learn outside classrooms that channelize mutual sharing and community learning and evoke interest in Indian culture. Thus, FunWagon was born.
In simple words, the vision of the company is to take FunWagon to a national level and international level with FunWagon excursions across India and around the globe.
Challenges faced on the outset!
Unlike any other startup, FunWagon also faced several challenges. To precisely point out, some of the obstacles were:
- Most parents were apprehensive and thought that the excursions would not be different from what’s taught in the school textbooks. The company overcame this issue when students returned home satisfied after the tours.
- Secondly, parents were also worried about the coordination and safety of their children because, for every excursion, the company had children coming from different areas. This issue was solved by creating Watsapp groups for every tour. Also, they took teachers and helpers with them. Only a small group of students was taken at one time to ensure proper management and learning.
- Another problem was a collaboration with NGOs. Initially, partnerships were difficult as the authorities were apprehensive of Mahira’s knowledge about the subject. But soon, Mahira convinced them, and currently, the company has three NGO partnerships.
Partnerships and Collaborations!
When asked about the partnerships, Mahira said,
“We have partnered with 3 NGOs including Simple Education Foundation, Spread a Smile India, Sathya Sai Seva Organisation, and a playschool called The Banyan. My experience here has been wonderful. We have Conducted two excursions without NGO partners, and conducted eight educational workshops with the NGO Spread A Smile India.”
The company even created an original curriculum and content that helps in conducting productive workshops.
First Milestone and Current Growth Status!
Mahira’s first milestone was the foundation of CulturALL under FunWagon. CulturALL is an initiative that aims to increase access to cultural education, exposure, and opportunity for children from all backgrounds. The company organized the inaugural CulturALL Cultural Education conference back in December 2019.
As of now, FunWagon has managed to reach out to 250 students. This year they plan to take FunWagon online because of these modern times and reach out to about 5000 children.